How Reciprocity Can Save You Money
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Having agreements or making exchanges with friends can be financially beneficial. This post is a list of things you can exchange with friends, family, or neighbors to help save you money.
An Accountabilibuddy – This is the person with whom you share financial report card. You and your accountabilibuddy know each other’s income, expenses, net worth, and financial goals. You encourage each other to be responsible and work hard to reach your goals.
A Fitness Buddy – This is the person who encourages you get off your lazy duff and move your body. You do the same for them. The two (or more) of you agree to share workout time, equipment, and space so you can avoid the expensive gym membership. You also encourage each other to properly nourish your body with healthy food and drink. You and your fitness buddy help keep each other healthy, thereby helping you avoid expensive healthcare bills.
Appliances or Tools – Lamps, slow cookers, space heaters, humidifiers, power drills, chainsaws—these are just a few of the things you can lend to or borrow from a friend. The next time you only need an item for a short period of time, ask around before buying your own. I own an electric knife sharpener that I only use twice a year. The rest of the year it just collects dust in my cabinet. I let my friends and family make use of it whenever they desire.
Babysitting – Taking turns babysitting with other families can not only give you a much-needed break, but it also can save you a bundle of cash.
Beauty Products and Dietary Supplements – I am addicted to lotions, lip balms, face creams, and—I admit it—dietary supplements that promise to make me live forever. I’m always trying something new, but rather than let the products I dislike collect dust in my cabinet, I always pass them along to my girlfriends and they do the same for me. This way, we get to try even more products than we would have otherwise.
Big Ticket Items – Would you like to own a riding lawn mower? I’ll bet your neighbors would too. Consider making the purchase together and sharing the equipment.
Buying in Bulk – Take turns shopping at your local warehouse bulk store. Split your purchases and the cost with family and friends. If you don’t have a bulk store nearby, you can find many bulk items available on Amazon.com. Take advantage of their Subscribe and Save program to save even more.
Coupons – Do you clip coupons? Why not organize a coupon exchange with your co-workers? At my old job, we kept a table at the front of the break room for just this purpose. Any coupons that weren’t needed would be left on the table for anyone to take as they pleased. It was a little chaotic on Sundays when all the new coupons would come out, but it saved me a bundle.
Exchange Bargain Finds – Make an agreement with a friend to keep an eye out for bargains that will benefit each other. Keep a note in your phone of your friend’s preferences, sizes, and desires. As you go about your day, if you see an especially good bargain that you think your friend will appreciate, then be sure to let them know. If you’re really close friends, you could even make purchases for each other.
I was thrilled a few years ago when one of my husband’s friends let him know about a Groupon for The Melting Pot—my favorite restaurant!
Friday Nights – Take turns hosting parties instead of going to the bar. Drinks at the bar are expensive and the food certainly isn’t winning any awards. Instead, buy your alcohol from the store and order pizza or do a potluck.
Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? It’s an awesome, hilarious adult party game. It’s a perfect way to vent your misanthropic frustrations after yet another hard, unrewarding week at a soul-sucking, dead end job.
Garden – Gardens are a lot of work, especially if you’re a beginner, but if you share the chore with a friend, it becomes easier and you can both reap the rewards. You can share a garden with a friends, family, church, neighborhood, or your community. Don’t have a community garden? You could start one yourself. Inquire at your church, school, or parks and recreation department. Someone’s bound to have an unused plot of land that they’d be happy to let you tend to.
Group Rates – You can find group rates when attending events, taking vacations, or staying at hotels. Sometimes you can even find them for movies, restaurants, or bowling alleys. If you’re not sure, just ask. They worst they can say is no.
Share and Share Alike – I’m sure you have tons of stuff in boxes and closets around your home that you could share with or borrow from a friend. Books, CDs, DVDs, belts, bags, jewelry, plant pots, cooking and dining accessories, party items, and décor—the list goes on and on.
A popular pin on Pinterest suggests taking a photo of your friend and the item you lent them so the both of you can remember the exchange.
Skills – I’m good with computers—good, not great. Even so, my family, friends, and their friends are always asking me to them help with their computer troubles. Do you know how much a technician will charge just to reset a network? This is one way I can help my loved ones save money and frustration. Do you have a skill you can offer to share occasionally?
Text Books – They’re outrageously expensive. Sure you can buy them used and resell them, but have you considered sharing the book during the semester? It can be a bit inconvenient, but if you can pull it off, you can save a ton of money. Consider copying the pages you need to study so you can always have them on hand. This is also super convenient because you can write notes right on the copied paper.
In our culture of excess, you can always find more ways to save money if you’re creative enough. You may feel a bit awkward broaching the subject with your friends, but trust me—they want to save money too and they’ll be grateful that you made the first move.